Kneeslider - © 2008-2020 - All rights reserved
‘Kneeslider’: a name which has come to mean entertainment, maximum fun, a sense of humour, a mild level of campness and a name that puts fear into the hearts of any band trying to follow them.
Formed by guitar genius Harley and throat shredder Beanz to initially celebrate a wedding vow renewal; unfortunately when unexpectedly cancelled, targets were reset to provide entertainment for their Portsdown Hill biker friends and family at a Christmas Party in 2008. With drummer Andre, Rhythm Guitarist Kimmy and Dan on Bass, all that was missing was a vocalist. When asking who would be filling these duties Beanz was shocked to hear Harley tell him ‘You are, feel free to join in’. Beanz adjusted his lycra arseless chaps, fringed waistcoat and curly blonde hair, stepped up to the mic and the world shook for the first time to what would later become known as the ‘Kneeslider’ sound.
The history of "Kneeslider"
After Kimmy could no longer commit due to college commitments and a false start with the drummer; Mr Andy Smith agreed to occupy the drum stool. Despite being committed to a Village People tribute band as the Policeman, Andy fitted in immediately and the ‘Butt Snoggerz’ as they were then known, took to the stage and rocked the crowd. In fact they had so much fun, they decided to form a permanent band.
Unfortunately Dan found he could not commit to the four string duties, so Jock was approached and jelled instantly. After some too and froing over a coffee, the band was finally renamed: ‘Kneeslider’. The band moved on to their first gig at the Brewers Arms in Horndean (Now a Co-op… The band played next to the frozen food section in case you were wondering). Dan agreed to take on soundman duties and after a nervous first half, Kneeslider stormed the second set. Despite running out of material, the audience loved every moment and the collection of dedicated followers, ‘The Kneeslider Family’, began and still continues to this day with over 30,000 hits on their website and in excess of 1000 followers on Facebook to date.
As the band continued to establish themselves, Jock unfortunately decided to leave. His position was temporarily filled by Bass Legend and Comedy Club organiser Chaz Collett. However Jock later realised how much he missed Kneesliders classic Man-Love and quickly re-joined; so the mighty Kneeslider continued to gain momentum.
During this time, longstanding groupies Kerry Hines, Shirley Barnett and Dilys Drackett formed the A32s and their sweet warbling’s augmented Kneeslider on several occasions.
At this time Dan needed to spend more time with his family and unfortunately decided to leave the band. Kneeslider follower and friend Wayne Barnett volunteered his huge talents (and his sound engineering prowess… fnar).
Kneesliders sound became a punch in the face and Waynes honest reviews were always appreciated, even though everything was pronounced as being ‘Shit’!
In 2012 the touring schedule once again took its toll on ear abuser Jock and he left for the final time (though has occasionally been back to dep when the regular incumbent in the Bass position has been unavailable). Guitar teacher Andy Sills filled in for a couple of gigs, and later Jonathan MacKay from local legends ‘The Cessnas’.
After an advert on the Age Concern website, Neil Bertram was found and fitted in straight away. More songs were added to the repertoire, new venues came on board and the Kneeslider train steamed on.
Sadly Neils time with the band was short lived, and in 2013 given the heavy schedule, health issues became a concern and Neil decided to retire to live a pastoral life in the country. Once again Kneeslider were missing a permanent Bass player. Despite Chaz and Jock both depping, a permanent member was needed. Up stepped Gary Blundell. After a humorous reply to an advert and a successful audition in the infamous Man-Love loft Gary was asked to join, it was noted that his cuddly status was also a bonus.
In 2014 the band suffered a major blow with Beanz beloved WAG Kerry passing on due to a long struggle with Lymphoma. Whilst not part of the band full time, she was an enormous character loved by all members of the Kneeslider family. She was supportive and a voice of reason, and her unexpected passing set the band and all associated with it back immensely. The gigs for the rest of the year were cancelled to allow time to mourn, and decide what to do going forward. Kerry insisted that no matter what happened, the show must go on and pleaded with Beanz not to quit. Beanz is forever grateful to the Kneeslider community, especially the band members for all of their help and support during what was the most difficult time of his life. Subsequently, the boys were back in action early 2015.
Following on from Kerry's passing, the decision was made that Kneeslider would no longer perform with such a heavy schedule as family time was far more important. During this period sadly our beloved ‘Manaconda’ Wayne decided to move on to spend more time with his growing family.
After setting up an apprenticeship programme for impressionable young sound engineers, child prodigy, woolly hat wearer and son of DJ great Derek Pearce; ‘Joe Pearce’ was approached and though involved with around 200 other bands and musical projects, filled in as sound engineer and turd polisher whenever he could.
In 2017 another sad event occurred with Kneeslider finally wearing out drum monkey Andy who decided to move on to other musical projects after 10 years with the band. Saying that the band was not camp enough for his liking, Andy has moved onto something more sedate given his ever increasing years. Beanz, Harley & Gary wish Andy all the best for the future and thank him for his support over the past decade.
With the drum position vacant the boys began a worldwide search for a new sticksmith. Several talented applicants applied but the family element that is so important to the band also needed to be fulfilled. Harley had recently purchased 13,000 bricks in order to build an outside BBQ for his 2rd floor penthouse and asked fellow Scoutist and Architect Alan ‘Al Bongo’ Taylor to create a design in his preferred Gothic style. During discussions relating to the whether engraved images of The Sisters of Mercy’s Andrew Eldritch should be included, Al revealed his secret identity; that in fact he was a recovering skin basher. With the Kneeslider ethos that the best cure for addiction is to indulge it; the band all met together and Al was offered the chance to audition for the band which he readily accepted.
Auditions occurred in an ex arms store in a secret location in Portsmouth (turn left off the A3 in Hilsea). Several drummers were put through their paces, but with his solid drumming style, excessive use of the cowbell and his easy going nature (allowing intimate loving by the rest of the band) Al won out and accepted the sitting down role in the mighty Kneeslider. However, there was only one problem… A remaining gig in Chichester’s Eastgate Pub on a date where Al was booked to travel to Amsterdam to get off his nut whilst harassing hookers.
A quick search ensued where Kneeslider managed to incapacitate several members of the local drumming community. In the end Curt ‘Happy Meal’ Barnes of local gigging legends Halcyon offered his services (as long as we promised his mum that we would have him home and tucked in before 12). Chichester was once again thoroughly rocked and concentration returned to getting Al up to speed.
In January 2018 the new Kneeslider flew their private jet to sunny Gosport and a new era began. After playing their 300th gig with many friends and family in attendance, Kneeslider continues its mission to rock the world with its own unique blend of cut and paste music and inherent sexiness.
Two years in and despite wearing out a microphone, several guitar leads, two bass guitars, a PA and the drummers arm, Kneeslider are still rocking audiences around the deep south of England.
With Al Bongo claiming the strain of vigorous gigging and manloving taking its toll, the rest of the band have told him that his Wag Alison should take some of the strain in the bedroom!
Harley has continued to head towards his racing snake physique leaving a slight imbalance on the stage, so Lee has shifted a little right to compensate. More Band Hero awards were presented to mega fans Russ and Mike this year, who have attended more gigs than our glamorous Wag Heidipoos over the last couple of years, though it is rumoured both are due to be sectioned and institutionalised in 2020.
Those of you lucky enough to have caught us at the Stag in North End earlier in 2019 will have witnessed the birth and death of Hal-slider, when Halcyon legend Darren replaced Lee for a night. Lees brother in law Warren (Lurch or Sasquatch to his friends), claimed it was the best gig he’d heard us do. You’ll be glad to know Lee and Warren sorted it out on the Jeremy Kyle show, unfortunately Jeremy is now looking for alternative employment.
A recent trip to the studio has ended up in the release of the now double platinum EP ‘Four off the Wrist’ (in the South Gosport rock and easy listening charts) and Kneeslider have a busy schedule to look forward to in 2020. So once again as we head into our 12th year as Hampshires premier overweight rock and cheese act; we look forward to entertaining you all soon.